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Sen. Perry Files Sanctuary Cities Legislation

Legislation reviving the fight over "sanctuary cities" was filed Monday by Lubbock Republican Sen. Charles Perry.

Protesters block a rear entrance to Texas Governor Rick Perry's office on the second floor protesting HB12 the so-called "sanctuary cities" bill winding its way through the Senate on May 25, 2011.

The push to outlaw so-called sanctuary cities in Texas is back.

State Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, on Monday introduced legislation that would prohibit municipalities and other local governments from adopting policies that forbid local peace officers from enforcing federal immigration laws. That includes asking the immigration status of someone detained or arrested by a police officer. The legislation would cut off state funding for governments adopting such policies.

Senate Bill 185 mirrors highly contentious bills that failed to pass regular and special sessions in 2011,even though Gov. Rick Perry had declared the issue one of his five emergency items that year.

“SB 185 is a common sense measure that will address the ongoing problem of sanctuary cities in Texas and hopefully open up dialogue on what other measures we can pass at a state and federal level to solve our crisis in illegal immigration,” Perry said in a statement.

The new bill is a carbon copy of the final version of 2011’s bill, HB 12, said Sen. Perry spokesman Travis McCormick, in a bid to address some of the initial concerns lawmakers had three years ago and prevent the bill from getting bogged down.

In 2011, opponents, including several from law enforcement, said it takes time from peace officers better spent investigating crimes. They also argued it would erode the public’s trust in law enforcement and lead to less cooperative witnesses. Civil rights groups said the bill would pave the way for racial profiling.

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